Wednesday, August 28, 2019

A New Look at Old History

Years ago, YEARS ago in a previous century, I sort of published my first book. I use the qualifier "sort of" because it was published in the business office of Broyhill Industries here in Lenoir, North Carolina and I sort of was the leader of the pack of historians who tackled a tremendous feat. The church I attend was celebrating a bi-centennial and members wanted its history compiled into a book. I jumped at the chance. This was in the pre-computer era, so every drop of research depended on old newspaper articles, church records, and family lore. We (as in several of us) came up with a manuscript that we were satisfied with and typed and published after hours at the work space of a secretary at the Broyhill furniture giant's main office. Each of the twelve of us chose a typewriter, and off we went, typing and printing copies of what we came up with.
Now that new methods of research are available, computer access to archives in other words, we (as in several of us) have come up with a plan. Re-research. Find new information. Redo the book. After an article in last week's local newspaper telling of our plans, the editorial cartoon person gave us a special treat.
Is that cool or what!

That would be my energizer bunny of a friend, Diana, working her magic to fill in the gaps from the previous book. (And, I must admit, correcting the mistakes we made in our original version.) She's peeling back the layers and finding all sorts of facts that will make the updated book not only more correct, but also rich with details. This history of Littlejohn church is a fascinating read that covers Revolutionary times with overmountain men camping on the church lawn on their way to the Battle of King's Mountain, Yankee invaders riding past on Easter morning while members quickly hide their valuables, including the mules, rebuilding the facility to change from two entry doors (one for women, one for men), and takes the reader up to a fourth century (1700's, 1800's, 1900's and 2000's) with moments of faith in between. What a story it is!

I can't wait for you to read it.

Catch of the day,


Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Difference an A Makes

The current trend in American education is STEM, an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It's an excellent concept, but a bit lacking.

There's no A.


Children being surrounded by pure STEM activities and thought will miss out on what gives life its STEAM, its reason and purpose. After mankind discovered the basic technology of fire, he was then able to invent cave drawings to express himself in the darkness of the underground. Since then, mankind has taken a giant leap to great literature beyond those characters on the wall. Both are heartfelt attempts at communicating thoughts, and therein lines my concern. Leaders of tomorrow must be able to communicate, and that's where the A comes in.

I've had this thought ever since the pendulum swung towards all things scientific. I felt like I was the only person on earth ringing the alarm bell amidst the clanging, until I watched a program on CSpan during the Apollo Eleven anniversary week. The topic was spacesuit design and featured a panel of experts who devoted their lives to the ever evolving suits astronauts wear.
This group had recreated the Apollo spacesuit for the anniversary and was eager to share their findings and comparisons with current suits. One of the panelists, Dava Newman a professor of Astronautics and Engineering Systems at MIT, described her passion for suit design. What interested me most, however, was her other passion, empowering the next generation of scientists through STEM, only she suggested adding the A for Arts, and a D at the end for Design. 

Yes, people, let's get STEAMD up about nurturing a whole individual who is exposed to disciplines across the spectrum. Interpreting all the technologies mankind can develop means nothing without an understanding of history and psychology and literature, or without an appreciation of the fine arts to express emotions and thoughts. 

Time to swing back the pendulum.

Catch of the day,


Saturday, August 3, 2019

More Moon Magic

This Apollo celebration just never ends!! Today a friend of mine gave me a 3-D pop-up card featuring the Eagle lunar module.
How cool is that!
Look at the details up close:
Even the tiny footprints are included.
I added a frame around the cover of the card
to show the whiteness of the moon a little better.
The plan is for me to take the card to book events and wow everyone when I open it.

One thing I won't take with me is the bag of Fiftieth Anniversary Oreo cookies I finally got my hands on. They will be long gone in a few days.

Talk about a way to celebrate! How about imprinted moon-related pictures on each cookie? How about glow in the dark stickers on the back? 
I enlarged this photo so you could see the astronaut on the cookie.
There's a rocket on the cookie that is open and a crescent moon on the other.
Take these cookies with a glass of Tang to wash them down, and I've got the perfect Apollo snack. Too bad massive celebrations like these only come every fifty years.

Catch of the day,